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Piper Cherokee - Courtesy of Rik Vercoe

Scuba Diving in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

Reader Reviews:

Dive Site: Piper Cherokee Plane & Yam Pilaus Ship

Location: Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

Description: Plane and Japanese ship wrecks

Depth: 24 metres (79 feet)

Visibility: 20 metres + (65 feet)

Rating: ****

This was another awesome dive from the shores of Papua New Guinea. We drove by truck for our third dive of the day to a sheltered beach where the sand was completely black. The local children playing on the beach were as enthralled by our equipment as we were with the black sand and eagerly helped us don our gear. As we walked into the ocean and slipped beneath the waves we were met with a beautiful surreal grey-blue sand slope with sand eels and starfish littering the gentle slope down to the Piper Cherokee aeroplane plane which was lying on the seafloor at a depth of 24 metres. There was so much small fish life: baby stripped pipefish, banded and harlequin shrimps in the cockpit - it was hard to know where to look.

As was becoming characteristic with our dives to the various aeroplane wrecks in PNG, the dive time just seems to fly by despite their small size. After around half an hour we made a short swim across the sand to a shipwreck - the Yam Pilaus. This was a small vessel lying on one side and quite broken up in places. There we hundreds of sweetlips in and around the wreckage and a huge potato cod. On the surrounding seafloor small crocodilefish lay camouflaged against the sand and the usual territorial clownfish huddled in their anemones, taking it in turns to fend of unwanted visitors. We left the wreckage and swam slowly up the slope checking out various small coral heads, all teeming with life, until we felt our heads break the surface and we were back on the beach where our helpers were ready to de-kit us.

Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor

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